Laurie Goldstein | Episode 280
Laurie Goldstein is a potter who is in love with ceramics, with function, with beauty. Laurie is a mother to two great kids and a wife to a great guy named Guy… Laurie was born in NYC and when she was 8 her family moved to Israel where Laurie grew up, went to school, served her 2 year compulsory army service, and got her BFA in set and costume for theatre. Laurie then returned to the states for studies at NYU and then Alfred University. Then back to Israel where Laurie started her studio 22 years ago and has been working away happily since.
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How do you stay inspired year after year with the same medium?
Sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I have these breaks where I am not inspired. I say, “Okay. That’s fine”, I get away from the studio, and then I miss the studio. Then I come back and I am so thankful to have this clay that I can play with again. I’m not bored with it yet. I always feel like I have more ideas than I have time. There is always something else that I want to work on. I’ll finish a piece and I will already have an idea for the next one.
It sounds like you said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. How does your heart grow fonder?
When it’s love there is no explanation; you are just drawn back. I have this yearly sale before Passover (it’s like your Christmas). It is a really big event where I live and it’s this three-day thing. So after I am done with that, I’m just dead! So I stay away from the studio for about three weeks, and then I need to get back. I just need it. I have to.
What event in your making career change you the most?
I think my two years at Alfred University. I had such amazing teachers, and I worked beside such inspiring students. It was just the best. The best! The approach there was the complete opposite of (my time at) NYU. With any idea you had (at Alfred) they said, Ok. Go for it. Try it out. See what happens. There was a lot of positivity. I think a lot of energy creates more energy. So I was inspired by those two years for a lifetime.
What is the most challenging thing that you make?
Sometimes I work with a designer on different projects and we reinvent, or rethink, or recreate different things for each specific site she is designing. First we brainstorm, then I have to go to the studio and figure our how we turn these ideas into specific objects. So I can’t just be automatically working- making plates or mugs that are just manual work. I have to figure out things. It is like the engineering part. That is when I have to stay concentrated.
What is one skill in ceramics that you don’t currently have that you would like to master?
I wish I would do more glaze testing. I hate glaze testing- mixing all those tests and writing down all the percentages of the colorants, oxides… I really wish I could be patient with that.
What was the happiest moment this past week that you had?
Isn’t it amazing that that is hard to answer? I have these little moments when I am really happy. It is when the whole family is home and we are each doing our own thing and it is quiet and calm… one person can be reading, one person can be cooking, just having the kids at home, and actually nothing is really happening… We’re just all together at home.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows